News Releases
August 01, 2017

Three “Agents of Change” to Receive 2017 BBA Beacon Awards for Diversity & Inclusion

Press Release

Biogen, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice Executive Director and Retired Partners Healthcare General Counsel to Receive Honors
The Boston Bar Association is excited to announce the details of this year’s ceremony and event to present the 2017 Beacon Awards for Diversity & Inclusion. On November 2nd at the Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center, we will bring members of the legal community together for an evening of inspiration and celebration. Guests at this year’s Beacon Award will help honor true leaders in diversity & inclusion, and celebrate with live music, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction.
The Beacon Award recognizes exceptional leaders working to illuminate a new path forward toward a more diverse and inclusive legal profession in Greater Boston. For the first time, we will present three awards to prominent agents of change in the legal community.

Voice of Change Award
Brent Henry

Brent Henry served as Vice President and General Counsel at Partners Healthcare, and he has written and spoken extensively about recruiting and retaining diverse legal talent. He is a former co-chair of the BBA’s Diversity Leadership Task Force, which was formed in 2006 and ultimately led to the creation of the BBA’s Diversity & Inclusion Section. In 2012, he co-chaired a new trustee committee charged with increasing diversity among the faculty, student body and senior administration of his alma mater, Princeton University. Last year, Henry served on “The Power of Inclusion Forum” as part of the 2016 ACC-Northeast Series on Diversity & Inclusion. Henry is a former BBA Council member and a former member of the Board of Directors at The Partnership, Inc.

Empowerment Award
Iván Espinoza-Madrigal, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice

In a decade as a public interest lawyer, Espinoza-Madrigal has worked on a wide range of civil rights issues, including racial justice, immigrant rights, and LGBT/HIV equality. He was named one of Boston’s “100 Most Influential People of Color” by The Boston Globe in 2016. He speaks nationally on civil rights issues; contributes writing to the Practical Lawyer and the Huffington Post; and provides legal commentary to CNN, Univision, and Telemundo, focusing on the legal needs of people who identify across intersecting lines of race, sexual orientation, gender identity, and immigration status. Before joining the Lawyers’ Committee, Espinoza-Madrigal was the Legal Director of the Center for HIV Law and Policy where he advised policymakers locally and nationally on LGBT/HIV issues.

Corporate Champion Award
Biogen, Inc.

The legal department at Biogen has long demonstrated its commitment to increasing diversity within its own staff and in the greater legal community. Biogen has developed a system of diversity metrics which the legal team uses when choosing outside counsel. In 2016, Biogen was named the Top Biotech Company in the Calvert Diversity Report. Biogen was one of only 10 companies to receive a score of 95 out of 100, and the only biotech company to do so.

General Counsel Susan Alexander , who will accept the award on behalf of Biogen, is a frequent speaker advocating for diversity. On behalf of her corporate department, she signed onto ABA Resolution 113 to Help Promote Diversity in the Legal Profession. Alexander has also served as a mentor to diverse corporate counsel in the Boston area.

Space is limited for this exciting event, and registration information will be available soon. For more information about this event and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Erica Southerland at or (617) 778-1930.